Going on a psychedelic trip is a lot like physical travel. If you’ve ever gone backpacking or traveled for an extended period of time, you will know that returning home can often come as a major shock to the system, sometimes taking weeks—months, even—to re-adjust to our former lives.
Similar to travel, psychedelic experiences can also shift our perceptions about the world, pushing us outside our comfort zones and into self-realization. Returning to our regular work-life patterns can be psychologically jarring, as we find ourselves irrevocably changed whilst everything we left behind remains the same. Thus, reshaping our lives to mirror the inward changes we’ve undergone can be profoundly challenging.
The psychedelic experience produces a spectrum of insights, ranging from personal to transpersonal to ecological. Sometimes a person will gain a new perspective on who they are, shifting the landscape around their professional purpose, intimate relationships, and lifestyles.
Psychedelic integration, then, is the process of weaving the practical with the mystical, taking profound, ineffable experiences beyond the temporality of the psychedelic state and grounding them in our day-to-day lives in the form of enduring, positive changes.
In this sense, integration is an active, intentional process where an individual consciously reflects on their psychedelic experience and what it means for them personally. It involves exploring how insights can be translated into bite-sized actionable steps. The personal nature of integration means that an individual needs to find an authentic way of implementing their experience in a way that suits their unique needs and personality.
After an initial revelation, the experience, materials accessed, and insights gained can quickly fade into a dreamlike memory or become psychically compartmentalized, getting lost in the busy pulse of modern life. Thus, it is important to carve out time to consciously work with these experiences.